The Best Film & TV of 2013

A selection of our favourite films and TV released in the cinemas or on DVD in 2013.


The Best Films of 2013

1. Django Unchained
Django UnchainedWhat we said:
"Think of it as the antidote to Gone with the Wind. Tarantino is more heartfelt in Django Unchained than in any of his previous movies--without sacrificing any of the pell-mell action, tension, and delicious language that made Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and Pulp Fiction so very enjoyable."

What to watch out for:
The best long-range rifle work since Renton in Trainspotting.

Our favourite quote:
"Mister Candie, normally I would say "Auf wiedersehen," but since what "auf wiedersehen" actually means is "'till I see you again", and since I never wish to see you again, to you, sir, I say goodbye. "
DVD ( £6.31) | Blu-ray ( £6.59)
2. Argo
ArgoWhat we said:
"Set against the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979 and 1980, Ben Affleck’s Argo is a nerve-jangling footnote to the birth of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic. It may have the ring of historical escapism, but Argo holds its nerve as a great Hollywood escape."

What to watch out for:
John Goodman and Alan Arkin having fun as two old-school Hollywood producers. And Ben Affleck's beard.

Our favourite quote:
"If I'm doing a fake movie, it's gonna be a fake hit. "
DVD ( £4.50) | Blu-ray ( £5.80)
3. Skyfall
SkyfallWhat we said:
"Another brooding performance from Mr Craig as the titular hero. It’s set against a variety of contrasting backgrounds, from dazzling Shanghai to a drizzly Scotland. The action is breathless, the banter with M takes a dark turn, and Javier Bardem delivers a baddie with real bite."

What to watch out for:
The thumping underground train crash, enough to make regular commuters wince.

Our favourite quote:
"Oh good, here comes a train."
DVD ( £6.99) | Blu-ray ( £14.58)
4. Rush
RushWhat we said:
"Ron Howard’s Rush--set in Formula One’s 1970s heyday, when ‘sex was safe and driving was dangerous’--is a gripping story of fire and ice rivalry that makes today’s rights-managed Formula One look as dull as rain."

What to watch out for:
Lauda’s psychological comeback, despite devastating injuries, as he prepares for a final showdown.

Our favourite quote:
James Hunt: "I feel responsible for what happened." Niki Lauda: "Trust me, watching you win those races, you were equally responsible for getting me back in the car."
DVD ( £6.99) | Blu-ray ( £10.00) | Limited Edition Steelbook ( £21.49)
5. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Alpha PapaWhat we said:
"Partridge fans have been waiting years for this and it doesn’t disappoint. Besides being full of funnies, it’s great to see the writers choosing to stay true to Alan’s roots by setting the story in Norwich. Back of the net."

What to watch out for:
Alan singing along to Roachford's Cuddly Toy in his car.

Our favourite quote:
"We're asking: what is the worst monger? Iron, fish, rumour... or war?"
DVD ( £5.00) | Blu-ray ( £8.00) | Limited Edition Steelbook ( £15.00)
6. Blackfish
BlackfishWhat we said:
"A fascinating insight into the dark goings-on in America’s sea-park industry. Tilikum, an Orca responsible for the deaths of three trainers at Sea World, is the focal point for one of the best animal documentaries since Grizzly Man."

What to watch out for:
The archive and spectator footage of the ‘accidents’ will shock viewers, but a fisherman’s ashamed, teary-eyed recollection of his role in capturing the baby Orca will really tug at your heartstrings.

Our favourite quote:
"If you were in a bathtub for 25 years, don't you think you'd get a little psychotic?"
DVD ( £5.75) | Blu-ray ( £6.50)
7. Life of Pi
Life of PiWhat we said:
"The full-on charm of the central allegorical story--a boy taming his inner ferocity and a Bengal tiger whilst adrift on a lifeboat--is set against a palette of landmark 3D effects that turned the Pacific Ocean into a never-before-seen spectacle of psychedelic colour and perspective."

What to watch out for:
The Pacific Ocean coming alive with phosphorescent creatures.

Our favourite quote:
"God made tigers carnivorous, so I must learn to catch fish. If I don't, I'm afraid his last meal would be a skinny vegetarian boy."
DVD ( £4.00) | Blu-ray ( £8.34) | Blu-ray 3D ( £16.20)
8. Gravity
GravityWhat we said:
"If you have yet to be convinced about 3D cinema then this is the film to go and see. But it's not just about the effects--Gravity also packs a thrilling story into its compact run time."

What to watch out for:
The amazing 3D effects, particularly the opening sequence.

Our favourite quote:
"Half of North America just lost their Facebook."
DVD (Sign up now) | Blu-ray (Sign up now) | Blu-ray 3D (Sign up now)
9. Looper
LooperWhat we said:
"Time travel’s not the most original sci-fi concept, which is why Looper’s take on it is so refreshing. There’s plenty of fiction, but the science is forced to take a back seat as the intriguing plot unfolds."

What to watch out for:
Cid getting angry. That’s one kid you do not want to upset.

Our favourite quote:
"I don’t want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we’re going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws."
DVD ( £3.50) | Blu-ray ( £8.99) | Blu-ray Steelbook ( £26.95)
10. Wreck-It Ralph
Wreck-It RalphWhat we said:
"Full of underdog charm and video game nostalgia, Wreck-it-Ralph is both an endearing children’s fable and an update of Toy Story for the coin-op generation, inviting us to pour our own childhoods into its toy-coloured brightness."

What to watch out for:
Ralph, a Zombie, Doctor Robotnik (from Sonic the Hedgehog) and Zangief (Street Fighter 2) working through their bad guy issues at Bad Guys Anonymous.

Our favourite quote:
"I'm bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."
DVD ( £6.99) | Blu-ray ( £10.00) | Blu-ray 3D ( £15.66)

The Best of the Rest

The Place Beyond The Pines [DVD] [2013]
Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose...
DVD
£4.50
Despicable Me 2 [DVD] [2013]
Steve Carell, Benjamin Bratt, ...
DVD
£6.20
Captain Phillips [DVD] [2013]
Tom Hanks, Catherine Keener, Max...
DVD
£6.00
Ain't Them Bodies Saints [DVD] [2013]
Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Ben...
DVD
£3.00
No - Film with Limited Edition...
Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro, ...
DVD
£5.40
The Brass Teapot [DVD]
Juno Temple, Michael Angarano, ...
DVD
£3.99
Rust and Bone [DVD]
Marion Cotillard, Matthias...
DVD
£6.69
Enough Said [DVD] [2013]
James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus...
DVD
£8.30
Star Trek Into Darkness [DVD]
Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl...
DVD
£5.00